Herbalife For Weight Loss: Effectiveness, Pros, And Cons

Get to know all about this global nutrition label's body transformation supplements.

Reviewed by Kate Driver, ND Kate Driver Kate DriverND facebook_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , Nutritionist, CDE Priyanka Sadhukhan Nutritionist, CDE Experience: 8 years
Edited by , Senior Editor Arshiya Syeda Senior Editor Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Health & Wellness Writer Aparna Mallampalli Health & Wellness Writer Experience: 5 years

Trying to reduce weight quickly has both advantages and disadvantages. Herbalife produces several rapid weight-loss supplements that have recently attracted a lot of attention. But is herbalife healthy? To help you out, we have discussed Herbalife weight loss in detail below. Herbalife makes meal replacement shakes that claim to help people lose weight and improve their fitness levels, appearance, and self-esteem. The benefits and drawbacks of Herbalife meal replacement shakes are discussed in this article. Keep reading to learn more!

protip_icon Trivia
Herbalife was started in Orange County, California, in 1980 by a 22-year-old named Mark Hughes.

Pros Of Herbalife Products For Weight Loss

Woman drinking a Herbalife smoothie for weight loss
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  • Herbalife weight loss products are set to offer healthier lifestyles. Their weight loss programs are very simple to follow, and they offer a variety of meal replacements and shakes to provide every individual’s taste.
  • The herbalife nutrition supplements, shakes, snacks and protein bars are easy to take.
  • The careful monitoring of fat and calorie intake helps you to eat well and live healthy.
  • Herbalife products are soy-based. Soy-based meal replacement products, in combination with lifestyle changes, have been found to aid weight loss and show improvement in body composition parameters of individuals with obesity (1), (2).
  • Soy protein is one of the major ingredients of Herbalife meal replacement shakes (3). It is said to improve cardiovascular health, though more studies are required to prove the same (4).

Jessica, a YouTuber, tried Herbalife products for 7 days and documented her weight loss journey results. In one of her vlogs, she reveals, “I am super excited about my results because I was able to lose a little over three pounds in one week and want to continue this journey (i).”

protip_icon Quick Tip
Most Herbalife products, like the nutritional shake mix, capsules, tablets, and personal care products, have a shelf life of two years. Products like protein bars have only a one-year shelf life.

Cons Of Herbalife Products For Weight Loss

Woman experiencing allergic reaction to Herbalife products
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Herbalife products have quite a number of cons.

  • The products can be quite expensive compared to other weight loss products available in the market with the same effect.
  • As per WHO recommendations, only 5 % of the total calories you consume should come from sugar (5). However, Herbalife meal replacement shakes are high in sugar and exceed this limit.
  • Herbalife produces healthy protein shakes and bars, special supplements, and snacks to change your unhealthy eating habits. However, there is no proof so far that these products have any positive effect on your health.
  • There has also been evidence in the past that the weight loss supplements made by Herbalife contained some dangerous ingredients.
  • Most Herbalife products contain these three ingredients that pose some risks to your health:
  • Caffeine: Some Herbalife products for weight loss contain caffeine as it boosts metabolism (3). But, caffeine has numerous harmful effects. It increases blood pressure significantly (6). A fluid ounce of coffee contains about 63 mg of caffeine (7). On the other hand, Herbalife teas, tablets, and supplements contain more caffeine per serving. These products can also be dangerous for anyone who is allergic to caffeine. Caffeine also depletes the body of minerals and can cause anxiety and blood sugar level imbalances, leading to people eating more or craving sugar or carbs. Therefore, it is advisable to check the product label for the ingredients.
  • Protein or Soy: Protein shakes and protein drinks are important when it comes to losing weight. Herbalife products contain phytoestrogen (plant-derived estrogen) that has an impact on sexual health and behavior (8). Moreover, some people are allergic to high doses of protein concentrates. Soy is a common allergen and if unfermented, can contribute to hormonal issues and digestive issues.
  • Shellfish: According to Herbalife, many of their weight loss products contain shellfish. Shellfish include oysters, mussels, crabs, and lobsters. If you are allergic to any of these, check the ingredients list before ordering any product.
  • Many case studies have reported that taking Herbalife supplements can be dangerous for the liver (9), (10)
  • Reports of Herbalife products being contaminated with the bacterium Bacillus subtilis where the patients suffered from liver injury (11).
  • These products help with appetite control by suppressing or killing your hunger and curbing your natural hunger-satiety cycle. This may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

If you are pregnant or lactating, consider seeking your doctor’s advice before starting any type of weight loss program. These weight loss drinks and capsules advertised on television and online never warn you about the harm they may cause to your health. So, it should be your decision if you would like to adopt “unhealthy” means or healthy food and exercise to cut down the excess flab.

Weight Loss With Herbalife – How Effective Is It?

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The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It kick-starts your metabolism, gives you the much-needed energy for the day, and keeps you full till lunch. But, many breakfast meals do not contain enough carbohydrates and proteins.

The Herbalife Formula 1 Shake contains a balanced combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins that equals a healthy meal. It kickstarts your metabolism without the intake of unnecessary foods. However, the calories per serving of this shake are not sufficient to meet the daily requirement. This low-calorie/high-protein shake helps you shed some weight, and drinking a liter of water along with it helps release toxins by increasing your urinary output. But, do not depend on herbal supplements too much because once you stop taking them, you may gain back all the lost weight.

Apart from this, the Herbalife meals also consist of a range of other nutritionally balanced products designed to support overall health and wellness. These include Herbalife Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex, which provides essential vitamins and minerals for overall health, and Herbalife Protein Drink Mix, which is a protein supplement to be added to shakes or used as a snack. The meals also include Herbalife Herbal Tea Concentrate or Afresh, which is a low-calorie, energy-boosting tea available in different flavors, Herbalife Aloe Concentrate that supports digestive health, and Herbalife Protein Bars and Herbalife Healthy Meal Nutritional Bars that offer balanced nutrition on the go.

Infographic: Advantages Of Herbalife Products For Weight Loss

Herbalife is one brand that offers a variety of fascinating weight-control and management combos and drinks. Their products have delicious flavors and offer both nutrition and taste. In the infographic below, we have included a few benefits that will undoubtedly be useful. Take a look.

advantages of herbalife products for weight loss (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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Herbalife weight loss supplements are formulated to replace meals and aid weight loss. These soy-based snacks and shakes help you lose weight in a healthy way by improving the body’s parameters w.r.t weight gain and obesity. However, these are high in sugar and expensive as well. Pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctor before starting any weight loss meal replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Herbalife vegan?

It varies. Some Herbalife meal replacement shakes contain milk while others don’t.

Do Herbalife products contain lead?

As per the nutritional labels on the products, Herbalife products do not contain any lead.

Is Herbalife FDA-approved?

Dietary supplements do not need approval from the FDA before being sold. However, Herbalife follows all the FDA guidelines while manufacturing its products.

How much weight can I expect to lose with Herbalife?

Herbalife can boost metabolism and help in weight loss, but it also depends on several factors like the starting weight, diet, and physical activity. It is recommended to aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds weekly.

Is long-term use of Herbalife for weight loss recommended or safe?

Herbalife products are labeled as safe, but some ingredients used in their products are associated with adverse effects like headaches, digestion problems, and palpitations. Long-term use has also been shown to cause hepatotoxicity in some subjects (12).

Key Takeaways

  • As a replacement, soy protein consumption can greatly improve your cardiovascular issues.
  • When you are trying to lose weight or even maintain good health, monitoring your fat and calorie intake is crucial.
  • Always check your supplement’s sugar levels, because only 5% of your total calories consumed should come from sugar; check the ingredients to see if your supplement contains more than that.
  • Although caffeine helps boost metabolism, many supplements contain excessive amounts of caffeine that can lead to increased blood pressure levels.
Herbalife weight loss

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Losing weight with Herbalife products can be great, but what happens when you reach your goal? Find out if you can stop using Herbalife products in this video!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The impact of a weight reduction program with and without meal-replacement on health related quality of life in middle-aged obese females, BMC Womens Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Effects of a Meal Replacement on Body Composition and Metabolic Parameters among Subjects with Overweight or Obesity, Journal of Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Herbalife, Livertox, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Beyond the Cholesterol-Lowering Effect of Soy Protein: A Review of the Effects of Dietary Soy and Its Constituents on Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease, Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Guideline: Sugars intake for adults and children, World Health Organization.
  6. Caffeine and Blood Pressure Response: Sex, Age, and Hormonal Status, Journal of Women’s Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  7. Nutritive Value of Beverages, coffee, brewed, expresso, restaurant prepared, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  8. Soy and phytoestrogens: possible side effects, GMS German Medical Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  9. Herbal does not mean innocuous: ten cases of severe hepatotoxicity associated with dietary supplements from Herbalife products, Journal of hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  10. Acute liver injury induced by weight-loss herbal supplements, World Journal of Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  11. Severe hepatotoxicity following ingestion of Herbalife nutritional supplements contaminated with Bacillus subtilis, Journal of Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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